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Libyan Assets in Austria

The Austrian government is looking for ways to free up €1.2 billion in frozen Libyan assets held in Austrian commercial banks. Alexander Schallenberg, spokesperson for the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, told The Vienna Review that the Ministry was applying to the United Nations Sanctions Committee to grant a partial release of the funds, and […]

Pax Franconia?

From Washington, the enthusiasm of the French for intervention in Libya is seen with a mixture of relief and puzzlement. The Americans do not want the job and are happy that someone else does. Indeed, President Nicolas Sarkozy’s willingness to intervene (alongside British Prime Minister David Cameron) helped close a dangerous gap between the world […]

Saif Qaddafi & Me

Not long ago, a Harvard colleague wrote to me that Saif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, a son of Libya’s dictator, would be in town and wanted to meet me. He is an interesting fellow, my colleague said, with a doctorate from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE); I would enjoy talking to him, and […]

Many Faces of Arab Spring

The attack by a Western-led alliance on Muammar Gaddafi’s forces in Libya is driven largely by principled motives. Had it turned its back on the Libyan rebels, the West would have betrayed its very identity. Of course, the same principles are not being applied to save the brutally repressed masses in Yemen or the Shia […]

Reluctant Imperialists?

U.S. President Barack Obama’s reluctance to provide the Libyan opposition with decisive military support is understandable: There was a fear of getting bogged down as in Iraq. But more importantly, Obama wanted to avoid accusations of a foreign occupation, which might have alienated supporters of the Libyan opposition and strengthened President Muammar al Qaddafi’s line […]

Sarkozy Goes to War

In 2003, France, under President Jacques Chirac, took the lead in opposing America’s planned invasion of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin’s flamboyant speech at the United Nations encapsulated the “spirit of resistance” against what proved to be a dangerous adventure. In 2011, under President Nicolas Sarkozy, France has again taken a […]

Gaddafi’s War: A Diary

It wasn’t that any of this was a surprise: Gaddafi had made his position clear from the start: “Either I rule over you or I kill you, destroy you, ” said Libya’s ambassador to the United Nations, Abdurrahman Shalgham, who turned against the regime. Gaddafi threatened to wipe out the city of Benghazi hours before […]

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